Review: Under My Skin by James Dawson

under my skin

Title: Under My Skin
Author: James Dawson
Publication Date: 5th March 2015 (Hotkey Books)
Pages: 302
Genre: Paranormal
Format: Paperback

Links to buy: |Amazon UK| |Waterstones|  |Book Depository|

Seventeen-year-old Sally Feather is not exactly a rebel. Her super-conservative parents and her treatment at the hands of high school bullies means that Sally’s about as shy and retiring as they come – but all that’s about to change. Accidentally ending up in the seedier side of town one day, Sally finds herself mysteriously lured to an almost-hidden tattoo parlour – and once inside, Sally is quickly seduced by its charming owner, Rosita, and her talk of how having a secret tattoo can be as empowering as it is thrilling. Almost before she knows what she is doing, Sally selects sexy pin-up Molly Sue, and has her tattooed on her back – hoping that Molly Sue will inspire her to be as confident and popular as she is in her dreams.

But things quickly take a nightmareish turn. Almost immediately, Sally begins to hear voices in her head – or rather, one voice in particular: Molly Sue’s. And she has no interest in staying quiet and being a good girl – in fact, she’s mighty delighted to have a body to take charge of again. Sally slowly realises that she is unable to control Molly Sue… and before long she’s going to find out the hard way what it truly means to have somebody ‘under your skin’. [Goodreads]

Admittedly, books by Dawson have earned themselves a place in my “no matter what the book is about I’ll buy it” author list. I knew the basic grounds of what Under My Skin was about but nothing more.

(Also note, that when reading this book in public, you will find people being envious that you are reading a pink rimmed page book – people like to point this fact out!)

The book follows Sally Feather, a quiet and a shy girl at school, who stumbles across a tattoo parlour one evening after being chased. Captivated by the appearance of Molly Sue, she does something that her parents would kill her for, get a tattoo. But what she thought would be a simple print on the skin, turned into something more. Molly Sue helps Sally transform herself from the shy girl to the girl who doesn’t shy away from the spot light. The more Sally gives in to Molly Sue the more danger Sally is in.

I am going to kickstart with something that may seem quite irrelevant but I think it is worth mentioning. Dawson has always managed to capture teenagers so well, but not only the characteristics and language but their use in social media and technology. This inclusion is always a heavy bonus for me because I think it makes the whole story more authentic. In Under My Skin, we also have a little fandom running throughout and it made this book so much fun! Each step of the way there was always this hint back to the TV show and, admittedly, that is like my life too.

The this book is about loving yourself, being confident but not losing sight of who you are. Molly Sue is able to bring out who Sally would be if she was bold and more outgoing. At the beginning the interaction between Sally and Molly Sue was really enjoyable. The thought of having someone to talk to 24/7, having someones opinion about things, Molly Sue was like an older sister attached to Sally’s hip. However, with every high there is always some hidden deal that made this book way darker than I thought it’d be. Oh boy, this book gets dark quick! Noted, I shouldn’t be surprised by this after reading Say Her Name but those haunting vibes seep out of this book.

I really loved the twist at the end. It was better than what I thought was going to happen and it gave so much more strength to Sally, which I love love love!

An exciting, dark and unpredictable with an empowering ending! You definitely need to get your hands on this one!

My rating:
I really liked it

4 cup



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